Pinterest Tricks — Do They Work?

by Katy on June 15, 2012 · 28 comments


You love it or you hate it. True, it can be a time suck, but it can also be an incredible source of inspiration. Like the very best haven or cooking magazine, but without the advertisements. (Can you tell I’m in the “love it!” camp?) However, it’s very easy to spend all your time finding inspiration and then no time actually acting on it.

So I decided to beta test a couple of Pinterest tricks. Specifically those tricks which solve a household problem using stuff I already had on hand.

First off was a tip to use pop can tabs to double up hangers. This Pinterest tip originally came from and appealed to me as it A: requires zero skills, and B: helps to organize my closets, something I geek-out over. (Seriously, I care more about how organized my closets are than what’s actually in them!)

Here’s how it works. You take a pop can tab and guide it over the top hanger, and then hang the bottom hanger through the tab. See? So easy!

And here’s how the coat closet looks after its pop can conversion. A little more organized with zero expense. And by the way, don’t you love all my wooden hangers? I’ve been buying them in fits and spurts at thrift stores through the years. I finally have enough for the coat closet, (which is under the stairs and has no door, which means it has to look decent) as well as our bedroom closet.

My verdict? Successful Pinterest tip!

My second Pinterest test was to try a tip from to remove DVD scratches using children toothpaste. (Why children’s toothpaste? Because it’s less abrasive than regular toothpaste.) This was another example of using on-hand supplies to solve a household problem. And lord knows I had enough scratched up DVD’s to try this out on. And I even had a no longer used tube of Spongebob toothpaste that I would happily use up.

Here’s how it works. You squeeze toothpaste on the DVD, and rub in concentric circles until the toothpaste is kind of dried out. Then rinse and dry.

Sadly, this tip did not work for me, even though I followed the directions perfectly. I even repeated the process, as the Harry Potter DVD really was quite scratched up. I’m thinking that this tip would work better on a slightly scratched DVD than an extremely scratched one, and am willing to try it again.

My verdict? This Pinterest tip was a bust.

Have you found any Pinterest tips (or really, an non-Pinterest tips) that have rocked your world? Please share your ideas in the comments section below.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Karen June 15, 2012 at 11:08 am

One of my favorite Pinterest tips was for birthday parties. Ice cream can be such a mess, not to mention a nuisance when you have hungry children breathing down your neck. Luckily, I learned that all you have to do it a little prep work. Take a cupcake pan and throw in some liners (I used paper, but I also have silicone which would work if you were somewhere they wouldn’t be lost), then scoop the ice cream and put the whole thing in the freezer. Each plate gets an ice cream cup with no muss or fuss!


Katy June 15, 2012 at 11:12 am

Nice! I am going to have to remember that one.

My favorite birthday party trick is to put equal amounts of piñata treats into ziploc bags. Then every kid gets the same amount, and you can avoid the issue of aggressive kids getting more and the inevitable tears that follow.



Rebecca June 15, 2012 at 11:11 am

Two Pinterest tips so far have rocked my world:

1. Soaking/rinsing berries in a dilute vinegar solution to keep berries longer – this really works for me! At least now I don’t have to use berries immediately, I can wait 2-3 days longer now.

2. Making meatloaf in a muffin tin (i.e., individual meatloaves) versus a bread pan – I know, this one should be obvious but I’d never considered it before. It greatly speeds up the cooking time, and I can again make in the summer as the oven or toaster oven would not be running nearly as long to heat up the house or run up the power bill.


Katy June 15, 2012 at 11:19 am

Love the meatloaf tip!



Karen June 15, 2012 at 11:48 am

Good to know about the rinsing of berries. I read that several times (meatloaf, too) but haven’t tried it.


Barb @ 1 Sentence Diary June 15, 2012 at 6:26 pm

I’ve been using the meatloaf tip for years. Not only does it cut the cooking time in half, but it’s also great for freezing. I freeze the muffin size meatloafs in a plastic bag, and then I can easily defrost only the amount needed (1 or 2 for myself for lunch, or 4 for my 16-year-old who has a bottomless-pit-stomach). It also defrosts evenly in the microwave, unlike a whole meatloaf. I highly recommend it.


Jenny June 18, 2012 at 7:48 am

We make hamburger size patties from our meatloaf mixture and fry them in a skillet. After you flip, turn down the heat, put ketchup or BBQ sauce on the top, and cover for a few minutes to warm the topping. We’ve done this for years, inspired by a recipe written this way. Much faster, and you don’t have to turn on the oven.


AnnDenee June 15, 2012 at 11:14 am

I actually set up a separate board for “Pins I’ve Actually Used!” And I did it for 2 reasons — to make sure I was actually making use of all the ideas I was pinning and to provide feedback. I always move a pin to this board and change my comments to let anyone who looks at it how it worked for me. So far, I’m happy to say I am making use of and not just collecting pins and they’ve been successful.



Diane June 16, 2012 at 4:28 am

I do that too with my recipes. I have a Recipes to Try Board and a Best Recipes Board. If a recipe doesn’t make the cut after I try it, it’s deleted.


Lili@creativesavv June 15, 2012 at 11:38 am

I was not at all interested in Pinterest, as I thought it would be a HUGE time drain. Then a friend forwarded a page to me and I’m a convert. This was a page of garden ornament ideas and it was awesome!
Something for dvd’s — my husband has us rub on (in concentric circles) furniture paste wax, the kind that really smells. Leave it for a bit, then buff off (again in concentric circles). It fills the scratches nicely. And so far we haven’t had a problem. We get most of “our” dvd’s from the library and as you probably know. so many are scratched.


Lili@creativesavv June 15, 2012 at 1:40 pm

I consulted Mr. Fix-it-all (aka my husband) about dvd scratches. He says that sometimes the dvd isn’t scratched, but has a scuff (new material smeared in a thin line on top of the dvd). The toothpaste would remove most of the scuff (but maybe not all, and dvds are extremely sensitive and you may not see the scuff or scratch, but the player does). If it’s a scratch, (an actual removal of material in a thin line from the dvd), then the reason hard furniture wax works, is it’s acting as a filler. If the scratch is too big, then all the filler in the world won’t fix it. And my daughters did remind me of two times when filler did not work for us on borrowed dvds. So may not always work, but it’s worth a try, as there’s so little investment.


Kate June 15, 2012 at 1:37 pm

I tried the “miracle” cookie sheet cleaner – something with peroxide – and it did absolutely nothing. Back to Barkeeper’s Friend for me.


Joanna June 15, 2012 at 2:27 pm

I’m not on Pinterest, just because I KNOW I would lurve it to pieces and I really don’t need another website I can spend countless hours surfing.

BUT, I have had success buffing out minor DVD scratches using original Endust and a microfiber cloth. I believe it works like the furniture polish idea – the waxy build-up fills minor scratches. I do this to library DVDs all the time.


Samantha June 15, 2012 at 2:47 pm

The best by far was the tip to use hydrogen peroxide and dawn dish detergent for stains – works like a charm!


Marianne June 15, 2012 at 3:01 pm

I saw a pin on there for smearing a banana in circles on a scratched DVD but haven’t tried it. Will have to do something about my scratched CDs that I am trying to upload to my iPhone.
But for my favorite pinterest tip? HOW TO CLEAN YOUR GLASS COOKTOP. Sprinkle baking soda on your glass cooktop. Wet a washcloth with hot water. Ring out and lay on the glasstop for 10 minutes. Then use to clean off baked on food. The baking soda and hot towel are abrasive enough to remove the crud without scratching the surface. And no yucky chemicals!


Holly June 17, 2012 at 7:08 am

Thank you Marianne! I’m moving to a new apartment this month with a flat top stove. I’ve never had one and was worried about cleaning it! Now I know. Thanks again!


Diane June 16, 2012 at 4:25 am

This works wonders! My dog rubs against the bottom of my couch and it was really dirty until I used this Pinterest tip. Much better and cheaper than spray cleaners.


Sass June 16, 2012 at 6:15 am

I’ve mainly done the recipes so far, and I’ve been pleasantly suprised at how they’ve turned out. I’ve got quite a few things pinned to try as crafty things — but haven’t tried a one of them. Probably will in the fall once the Princess goes off to college and I have to find stuff to occupy my time without spending a TON of money! I’ve got the materials lists going so that I can go ahead and either NOT throw out the materials as I’m going through massive cleanouts OR so I can pick them up super cheap at garage sales and the like. Oh, and the baking soda on the glass cooktop deal totally worked for me!


Angela June 16, 2012 at 10:52 am

I am so-so about Pinterest. I didn’t join because you have to have FB or twitter account and I have neither (don’t want it!). I have found great hairstyles on there and many yummy recipes! I also got my homemade laundry soap, fabric softener, linen spray and hand soap recipes on there! No household tips as of yet, though.


Katy June 16, 2012 at 11:16 am

I don’t think you need a Facebook or Twitter account.



Holly June 17, 2012 at 7:09 am

You don’t need to have FB or Twitter. I have both but neither are connected to Pinterest. You do need an email address though!


Meaghan June 17, 2012 at 10:03 am

I just made panda cupcakes yesterday for my nephews birthday. the recipe was found on pinterest and was original to bakerella. They were awesome! looked great, they were easy, and tasted great too!

I have also used the home remedy for a slow sink/tub drain, the mattress refresher, and remedy for towels to become more absorbent. all of these worked! i love pinterest…now i have to go add you to my friends 🙂


Shannon June 17, 2012 at 10:34 am

The sole Pinterest idea I’ve used is to use 3M Or similar wall mounting strips to mount clothespins to the wall for neat and easy display of kids’ artwork. A friend had made me a set of decoupaged wooden clothespins so I used them in a hallway. I love quick easy and useful! (and cheap!)


Amy June 18, 2012 at 4:53 am

I tried the baking soda and vinegar to clean up pet stains and odor. It worked. As a bonus, my seven-year-old loved to watch the foaming action.


Laurel June 18, 2012 at 9:06 am

I’ve found a lot of inspiration and ideas at

I like Pinterest, too, but some of that stuff is way beyond my skills and budget!


Elaine in Ark June 18, 2012 at 9:33 am

You could start a new show: PintBusters. You’re as funny as Jamie and Adam, and heck, we want to know what works from Pinterest and what doesn’t work.



Sheryl June 18, 2012 at 10:33 am

My most successful Pinterest find thus far: Microwave-warmed vinegar and blue Dawn dishwashing liquid in equal parts in a spray bottle. Stunk like crazy, but worked like a charm in removing a nasty soap scum build up in my tub (and I barely had to scrub!)


Meredith @ Slightly Scattered June 18, 2012 at 11:10 am

I tried the “cut a glass bottle in half with acetone and yarn” trick. My husband stood beside me smirking. I was so ready to show him that I wasn’t crazy…and then I ended up with nothing but a wet bottle. Fail.


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